Cray Cray Things

Things are cray in the vet business.  Check out recent news stories below.  

  • A Study of Breed-Related Causes of Death in Dogs:  A 20-year study from the University of Georgia examined causes of death in dogs between 1984 and 2004, which included records of 74,566 dogs from the Veterinary Medical Database 27 veterinary teaching hospitals.  The study found that cancer was by far the most common disease category cause of death in adult dogs.  (Read more on our blog!)
  • Connections Between Drug Makers and Educators Abound: A cray article from 2014 that discusses how big vet pharma (aka MARS Inc., Merck, Zoetis etc.) fund ongoing vet education to professors, students and researchers. According to Eric Campbell, a Harvard University professors who researches conflicts of interest between doctors and drug companies stated, “The fact that they’re being supported by the companies they’re supposed to be overseeing raises issues about the impact of those payments."
  • Dogs' Feelings are now Recognized by Law as Animals are given more Legal Rights:  Awesome news from the UK as they formally passed laws that recognize dogs as SENTIENT beings.  This means they are protected under the law and aren't treated as property!
  • Drugging & Poisoning Pets for Profit: Big Pharma Takes Over Veterinary MedicineUnfortunately, MARS inc. (yes, the same company that makes sugar), Zoetis (Pfizer Subsidiary) and Elanco (Own Bayer Animal Health), and Nestle are the major players in the vet pharmaceutical world and they have a monopoly in the industry.  This article demonstrates a link between increasing sickness in our pets and increasing pill pushing as opposed to holistic care. 
  • Finally: Why Veterinarians Have a High Suicide Rate:  Significant student load debt, work pressures and burn out, having to euthanize animals, demand to work for free, a lack of professional support and a realization that "much of conventional prevention actually harms (your) animal" are just a few reasons why vets have a high suicide rate. 
  • How Canine Heart Disease was Tied to Grain-Free Dog Food: Grain-free diets became popular in the 2000's and are made of plants including legumes, peas and lentils and represented 43% of dry pet foods sold.  Despite a 4-year long investigation prompted by the FDA that was completed by vet researchers, there was no conclusive data to correlate consumption of a grain-free diet and increased rates of cardiomyopathy.  However, lead researchers on this investigation received funding from major sellers of grain-free pet food including Nestle Purina Petcare, Hill's Pet Nutrition and Mars Petcare, which is a massive conflict of interest. 
  • How the "System" Works Against Pet Food Consumers: Kibble manufacturers like MARS Inc, Nestle and Hill's Science Diet, trade associations, veterinarians, vet schools, pet store chains and even the regulatory system itself are all interwoven into a system where industry prevails and at the expense of consumers and their beloved animals. 
  • Is Your Vet Really Qualified to Dole out Nutrition Advice?: Due to limited nutrition education in vet school coupled with major kibble manufacturers sponsoring vet education, the answer is probably no.  
  • Owners Bring $53 Million Class Action Suit Against Zoetis Australia Over Vaccine: Zoetis, the largest manufacturer of animal vaccines and medicine, which is owned by Pfizer, who also happens to be a MARS Inc. partner, is being sued as owners claim that "1,500 horses out of roughly 500,000 vaccinated have suffered adverse reactions to the vaccine and have been unable to resume regular work as a result."  Zoetis claimed that the product was safe and effective. 
  • The Corporatization of Veterinary Medicine:  Interesting article from the American Veterinary Medical Association that talks about how the veterinary medicine, software management and practice management is greatly affected by corporations like Mars INC. that have a monopoly over the industry.  
  • The Great Veterinary Shortage: Low wages, COVID risk, disgruntled clients have created a shortage in the vet business, making it difficult to obtain care, let alone quality care. 
  • The High-Cost , High-Risk World of Modern Pet Care:  How one vets' franchise was taken over by Banfield for violating vaccine protocols and breaking Connecticut law when he adjusted vaccine doses based on the size of the animal (not the one-size-fits-all approach).  "Corporations now own 15 percent to 20 percent of America’s 26,000 pet hospitals, and consolidators, copying the model pioneered by VCA, are buying them fast. (Banfield is one of the few big businesses building its own clinics; the rest are rolling them up.)
  • This is Every Pet Food Recall from the Past Five Years: So. Many. Recalls.  The foods listed here have never been recalled. 
  • What Aflatoxins and Mycotoxins are and how to Address them:   The FDA has recalled certain kibble brands that contain high levels of aflatoxins and mycotoxins, which are harmful toxins produced by fungi that naturally contaminate agricultural crops used to make most kibble brands. “Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver issues and/or death. Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms. You can avoid all of this by feeding high-quality raw food. 
  • When FDA Refuses to Abide by Law: Documentary film producer of "Pet Fooled," Kohl Harrington has sued the FDA.  Harrington has committed himself to learning the facts of the pet food industry, which has not been well-received particularly by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) or the FDA, which have "stalled, delayed, and outright refused to provide him with the facts."
  • Who is Buying Veterinary Hospitals?: MARS Inc, a sugar company, is the biggest buyer of the veterinary market and own Banfield, Blue Pearl, Pet Partners and the VCA.  MARS has also purchased 87 practice Linnaeus Group in Britain and Anicura, the owner of 200 hospitals in seven European countries.  
  • Why Vets are Getting Away with Murder: Our pets are getting sicker and have shorter lifespans compared to dogs several decades ago despite significant advancement in technology and medicine.    
  • 5 Academic Partners Supporting the Pet Food Industry: Vet schools including Kansas State, Texas &M, the University at Guelph, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and North Carolina State University have partnerships with pet food manufacturers.  This article discusses some of the nuances of this partnership.  We are wondering, how can this possibly be ethical in training future vets?  The answer: it's not. 








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